The last 24 hours have been a whirlwind for XBox owners. Early this morning Microsoft made the announcement that they were raising the subscription fee for XBox Live Gold, which up to this point, you kind of needed to play any XBox game online.
MS said they were raising the cost of a one-month Gold membership to $11, and a three-month membership to $30. The worst part was that a six-month membership was now $60. It wasn’t that long ago that a twelve-month membership was $60, meaning the cost had ballooned to twice as much in just six months. Gamers were….um, not happy, and they let Microsoft know.
Social media lit up with angry rants against XBox Live and Microsoft itself, and it wasn’t a good look. So fourteen hours later, and eight minutes before midnight Eastern….a reversal! Ha ha, what price hikes? What an imagination you guys have!
Microsoft agreed to restore the original prices of $10 for one month, $25 for three months and $40 for six months. “We messed up today and you were right to let us know,” they said in an official statement. “Connecting and playing with friends is a vital part of gaming and we failed to meet the expectations of players who count on it every day. As a result, we have decided not to change Xbox Live Gold pricing.”
To make up for the faux pas, Microsoft is throwing in an extra bonus. Remember when I said “up to this point” when referring to the necessity of XBox Live to play a game online? It’s because that is about to be dropped. From now on if you’re playing a free-to-play game like Fortnite or Warframe, you will not be required to have a paid account with Microsoft to load up the thing (Sony and Nintendo have never charged online fees to play games like Fortnite). Microsoft didn’t say when that change will be implemented, but they claim it’ll be soon.